Tuesday, November 26, 2013
Recently, I chanced by Lake Merritt in Oakland and noticed a plaza equipped with a nice little fountain, in front of a glass paneled cylinder building, whose rather dull fortress shape at first failed to impress me then as I walked to the other side of the street, the building suddenly became mightily impressive, with half of its cylinder back-lit and bulk became candy-like translucent and visually engaging.
Later, on the same day, I was told that the intriguing structure was a cathedral, Cathedral of Christ the Light, and it also had an interesting interior warranting a visit. As soon as I entered, I was quite stunned by the bold, simplistic yet intricate patterns created by many architectural elements - lattice walls, geometric "columns" and boat-shaped ceilings, etc., just underneath the class panel skins. I had a strong feeling that I was inside the hull of a gigantic ship - Noah's Ark, perhaps?
The cathedral was definitely one of the kind and its modernistic features strangely generated as much spirituality as conventional ones if not more.
Even the chairs and paneled dividers reiterated the patterns of the cylinder walls and their simplistic beauty and eloquence was simultaneously humble and ethereal.
There were other elements of interests in the cathedral, but they paled somewhat comparing to the basic building structures.
I was encouraged to visit a crypt at the lower level, Crypt of the Holy Angels, which had air of comforting and mystery, with many juxtaposing interesting visual elements throughout its long corridors.
Reproduction of Michelangelo's Pietà
This amazing cathedral building helped to change my perception of Oakland, the poor cousin of its more glamorous San Francisco across the Bay.
It is safe to say that even if "there is no there there," Oakland still boasts some architectural gems, such as the Cathedral and several others from earlier era, such as the Sears Department Store, I. Magnin Building and Paramount Theater, all of them I walked by on my way to BART (subway) station from Cathedral of Christ the Light.
Sears Department Store
I. Magnin Building
Related posts on Art · 文化 · Kunst:
- Pixar Exhibit and Newly Renovated Oakland Museum of California
- Opening of "Free Art" at Pro Arts Gallery, Oakland
- New East Span of San Francisco Bay Bridge
- A Day at Palace of Fine Arts & Crissy Field in San Francisco